No Longer Under Tribute
17:24-27; Gal. 4:1-7; I Cor. 6:17; I Pet. 2:9; Heb. 3:1; 4:14-16
Some of you have been alienated from Me by wrong applications of selected
Scriptures such as: ‘You shall not appear before the Lord they God empty’ (Deut. 16:16-17). You might recall an imperious figure in a pulpit, impeccably dressed, eager to finish the offertory prayer
just so he could reap the harvest of his favorite lucrative Scriptures. Ones
addressed specifically to Old Testament worshippers under the Law of Moses.
O My beloved child, don’t you realize you are always before Me? My
Spirit indwells you and your very body is My Temple. You don’t have to
show up at some brick-and-mortar building to appear before Me in prayer. The Body of Christ, the Church, is composed of living
stones and I dwell within each one of you, and I manifest My glory in the midst of you.
When you were born again under the New Covenant of Grace, you became My dear children, not My servants only. If money-hungry pastors are so eager to dig gold nuggets out
of My Word, why do they gloss over those parts of their pet Scripture passages which don’t serve their own ends? Compulsory
monetary contributions to the Temple were called ‘tribute’ (Deut.
16:10), and were required of males only, and only three times a year, during the three major holy feasts of Israel (Deut.
If opportunistic preachers really wanted to apply Old Testament guidelines for giving, they would exempt women from
compulsory offerings altogether, and collect them from the men only during the the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of
Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. And they would offer up burnt animal sacrifices in the church building on the same occasions.
They couldn’t do this anyway. Why? I no longer reside in a Temple
of Stone. Modern-day pastors
are NOT the equivalent of the High Priest who presided over the ancient Temple,
whose upkeep was paid for with tribute money.
My Son is High Priest over My entire Church and He presides over a Temple
of Living Stones. My corporate body of believers world-wide comprises the Church of the Living God, though there are local manifestations of it. All true believers
comprise My modern Priesthood. You
are made one Spirit with Me by faith. So how can you possibly consider yourself
“the laity”, who “come to church” just to bring in tribute
to fatten the lifestyle of more exalted Christians?
Scripture has been used as a weapon to fire condemnation at those out of work, on tight pensions or underpaid. If you were more industrious and disciplined, some pastors say, you would never have to appear before the Lord empty.
How much money did the dying Thief on the Cross have to put in the offering plate before I forgave him? Is there money in heaven? I think not. My own Son, Who
is God Incarnate, had to take His own Temple tax contribution
from the mouth of a fish.
When you reproach the penniless you insult Me also. When you say they
have no right to come to your church you also shut Me out.